Turning Points in Church History – Wednesday Nights

Dear Church Family,

Last week, we kicked off our first Wednesday Night Dinner & Discipleship. Some came for dinner at 5:45 pm; at the end of the meal, we sang a hymn and then had about 13-15 people for our discipleship time at 6:30-7:30 pm. It was a wonderful time of fellowship discussion as we began our study of “Turning Points in Church History.”

Turning Points in Church History (Outline)

As an outline for our lessons, I’ll be using Mark Noll’s book, Turning Points: Decisive Moments in the History of Christianity in this Wednesday night teaching series. There is no need to purchase the book as I’ll be preparing summary handouts as we go along. Here is a basic outline of the turning points in church history that we are planning to study:

  1. The Church Pushed Out on Its Own: The Fall of Jerusalem (70)
  2. Realities of Empire: The Council of Nicaea (325)
  3. Doctrine, Politics, and Life in the Word: The Council of Chalcedon (451)
  4. The Monastic Rescue of the Church: Benedict’s Rule (530)
  5. The Culmination of Christendom: The Coronation of Charlemagne (800)
  6. Division between East and West: The Great Schism (1054)
  7. The Beginnings of Protestantism: The Diet of Worms (1521)
  8. A New Europe: The English Act of Supremacy (1534)
  9. Catholic Reform and Worldwide Outreach: The Founding of the Jesuits (1540)
  10. *The Law and the Gospel: The Marrow Controversy (1717-1722)
  11. The New Piety: The Conversion of the Wesleys (1738)
  12. Discontents of the Modern West: The French Revolution (1789)
  13. A Faith for All the World: The Edinburgh Missionary Conference (1910)
  14. Mobilizing for the Future: The Second Vatican Council (1962-65) and the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization (1974)
  15. *Turning Points in American Presbyterianism (1706-Present)

(*not a part of Noll’s book, but added for this study)

So, as we gather tonight, September 13th, we’ll begin with a look at the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD and how that impacted the church, both positively and negatively – but ultimately, how God used this event to push the church out into the world. Our goal is to spend two weeks on each topic. First, we’ll talk about the details of the historical event and then we’ll see how we might apply some “lessons learned” to our present-day context. As noted in the above outline, I’ve added two topics to Noll’s list: the Marrow controversy which took place in the Scottish church in the 18th century and an overview of turning points in American Presbyterianism.

You’re Invited!

Whether you’re able to come for both dinner (at 5:45 pm) and the study (at 6:30 pm), or just for the study at 6:30 pm, I hope you’ll join us as we delve into church history to see how the Lord has kept His promise throughout the ages to build His church (Matthew 16:18).

The Lord be with you!
– Pastor Peter M. Dietsch